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of the Mifcellany, for the prefent year. We hope for the fupport of our friends and correfpondents in the enfuing year. By their ready and prompt affiftance, we shall be able to make our work ftill more acceptable, particularly to the rifing generation. For their fake chiefly, we mean to publish in our Mifcellany next year, The trial of the Witnees of the Refurrection of Jefus. This valuable little piece contains the evidence of our Lord's Refurrection in a full, concife, and pleafing manner. It has been long out of print. The prevalence of infidelity in our day will be our apology for prefenting it to our readers.
'We mean also to confider the fyftem of Mediation as revealed in the New Testament, and state its nature and evidence before our readers; as containing much further proof of the doctrine of the Reftoration of all Things, by representing the proper ground, nature, and end of the government of Chrift, particularly in the process of future judgment and punishment.
We cannot indeed boast of the extent, and rapid increase of our connections; but we are happy to say that the circulation of our Mifcellany is rather increafing than decreafing. Be the fuccefs of our pamphlet what it may, we are fatisfied with the goodness of our cause and the rectitude of our intentions.
We wish to turn the attention of fome of our correfpondents to the return of the Jews to their own land. Whenever the prophecies relating to this great event, take place, then the fecond perfonal appearing of Chrift will foon follow. From the prefent state of things, we cannot but think that the Jews will fpeedily return. So great a fulfilment of prophecy will be alfo a great confirmation of the faith of every one who is waiting for the coming of his Lord, and for the full redemption of the church from the power of Antichrift.
In the mean while we will not be weary in well doing. The Mafter will affuredly come in his own time, and render to every man according to his works. In his appearance and kingdom wę greatly rejoice...
December, 22, 1798.
For JANUARY, 1798.
EXPOSITION OF COLOSSIANS 1. 15-21.
N this paffage, the expreffion ALL THINGS, is ufed five times, and the Apoftle has made use of such an exuberance of language to set forth what he included in, or by, ALL THINGS, that we may run, and read. He has included, whatever was in HEAVEN, or in EARTH, either visible to us or not, and of all degrees, whether of dignity, extent of dominion, fituation, or power, fo that we cannot mention any thing (the Father excepted) but what is comprehended in, and under, the expreffion ALL THINGS, in either of the first four places. Now the Apostle without giving the leaft intimation of the fifth ALL THINGS, meaning any thing than universality, faith, IT PLEASED THE FATHER THAT ALL THINGS SHOULD BE RECONCILED. A univerfal reconciliation is abfolutely neceffary, in confequence of the enmity by the fall, in order to effect the intent contained in the preceeding words, ALL THINGS WERE CREATED FOR HIM. Alfo by the fubfequent expreffion, the Apoftle has emphatically, decidedly and unequivocally, affixed the univerfality of the reconciliation by afferting, I SAY, WHETHER THEY BE THINGS IN EARTH, OR THINGS IN HEAVEN. If we affert, that the All Things which are to be reconciled, do not include, or are not equal with the former All Things, in all refpects, we do eventually charge the Apostle either with ignorance or deception.
With IGNORANCE, in not knowing what he did fay, influenced by zeal without knowledge; or, DECEPTION, in fo connecting the last All Things, as to be understood equal with the former all things, when at the fame time he knew no fuch univerfal reconciliation would take place.
On the other hand, if we, because we would not have all reconciled, exclude any from being included in the former
All Things, then the excluded part must have existed before Christ, contrary to the whole tenour of Scripture, which faith, "He created all things, and was before all things." If we enquire into the nature of this reconciliation, the next verfe fets it forth; it is a restoring to favour, or making those friends, who before were enemies, or at variance. You, that were fometime alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works, Now hath He (Chrift) reconciled."
By making use of the expreffion Now, the Apostle has more than admitted it poffible, for he has pointedly fhewn, that he anticipated a future period, when those not included in the pronoun you, might be made partakers of the like reconciliation, according to the congruity, between those who are overcomers, (Rev. iii. 12.) and as fuch, faved, and are conftant citizens of the new Jerufalem that is above (Rev. xxi. 2.) and those who compofe the nations of the reftored, from the second death, and walking in the light of the city, and only occafionally go in, to pay their homage. (Rev. xxi. 24.)
As an individual, I confefs I am so far from thinking Paul was ignorant, or guilty of deception, that on the contrary, I 1 account him a chofen veffel, an able minifter, an excellent orator, an infallible guide, and an exact logician; from which, and taking into confideration from whom he received his knowledge, not from tradition, not from man, but from Jefus Chrift (Gal. i. 1.) I do not for a moment imagine he did not mean All Things, when he used the words All Things in this place. Also, he having in another place, made an exception to the univerfal fubjection of all things, co-equal with that exception I before noticed, he has for ever put it out of my power to extend the exceptions: "He (the Father) hath put all things under his (Son's) feet; but we fee not yet, all things put under him; but when he faith, all things are put under him, it is manifeft that He, (the Father) is excepted, that did put all things under him." After Paul afferted all things were created by Chrift, and enumerated what he included in the all things, he feals the very thing he expreffed, by a redundancy of expreflion faying all things were created by him, and alfo FOR HIM. So likewife with refpect to the reconciling all things, he used the same redundancy of language to fhew, and which evidently doth fhew, all things will be reconciled, by adding, "Ifay, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven."
The trite objection, that if the all things to be reconciled, are
as extensive, as the all things created, then the brute creation are included, is quite foreign to the purpose; when Paul was defcribing what he meant, or included in all things, by saying, whether they be visible or invifible, thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers, he had an allufion to moral intelligencies only, as fuch did not include the brute creation, tho' at the fame time, he did not thereby exclude Chrift from being their creator. I have often thought on the fubject of the brute creation, and have concluded man may be punished for his cruel and unneceffary severity to them; and I allow it poffible that a state of retribution may be in referve for them, though I do not account it neceffary to be believed. If any one can prove Paul included them in the quotation alluded to, I have no objection to their being partakers of a restoration congenial to their nature.
ON CHRISTIAN SEPARATION.
To the Editor of the Universalift's Mifcellany.
WHEN I communicated through the channel of your ufeful Mifcellany, a few thoughts upon the fubject of Christian Separation, it was merely to ftate my views of the advantages and difadvantages likely to refult from fuch an undertaking and the additional reflections on the practicability and propriety of it, were fuch, as naturally arose from the confideration of the fubject.
Not having entered upon any particulars relative to the defign, I was furprised to see my obfervations prefaced by the title prefixed thereto, a circumftance, that seems also to have mifled one of your Correfpondents, who from an ardent zeal, has attempted to bring a hoft of objections again.t the undertaking, before he was at all acquainted with the nature of it had he waited till the plan was laid open, he then might have had an opportunity for the exercise of his talents, as well as to difplay the fublimity and beauty of his fimilies, a little trait of which, his remarks upon the En-. glish Dunkers Scheme, has afforded:
It would not perhaps appear charitable, to detract from the merit of the Chriftians of the prefent day, by a fuppofition, of the paucity of their number, as there can be no doubt,, there are many fincere followers of the Lamb, although, as to purity, and fpirituality, the profeffors of Chriftianity fall" very short of the true ftandard; fo much fo, as to lead fome
perfons to fall into the mistake of the Prophet of old, who thought the general defection so great that he was left alone. I have not even confined my views to fo narrow a compass as your correfpondent, who has fuppofed the feparation of a few Chriftians, from the general mafs, would fap the very principle of Christianity; as thereby, the leaven necessary to leaven the lump, would be drawn away; and that the falt neceffary to preferve from corruption, would become useless, "like falt locked up in a cupboard," or like "a candle in a tin lanthorn," vifible only," when the door is opened."
Were Chriftians to feparate themselves from the world, merely to live to themselves, fuch retirement would favour of selfishness, and wickedness; but if a society was formed, for the purpose of living more devotedly to God, and with a view to become more eminently useful to their fellow men, furely, fuch an establishment would not only be pleasing but defirable, and would contribute more to the establishment of pure Christianity, than the present heterogeneous mixture of national Christianity, as it now too generally appears; whereby, instead of the spark being fanned into a flame, it feems likely to be totally extinguished.
As the wife man fays there is a time for all things, there must be a time for Chriftians to be scattered up and down in the world, and a time for their feparation from it; both which are directed by Him, who knows how to make all things conduce to the real advantage of his creatures; and although the period of feparation may not be precifely declared, by any pofitive precept, I have the full confidence his providence will point it out. As Abraham continued in the world, as long as his example was likely to be beneficial, fo ought Christians to remain at their poft, while they can be of any service; but when their example produces no good effect, and their continuance in the world is likely to terminate in their disadvantage, then a feparation becomes neceffary; and fuch a conduct will be fanctioned by the Providence of God, who, by fuch means, concentrates the teftimony of his true worshippers, and thereby caufes it to fhine with redoubled luftre a conduct difcernible in the various feparations he has appointed and approved. In times of deep degeneracy, it appears abfolutely neceflary for God to feparate his people from the world, to preferve them from corruption, and the punishment due to fuch a state, as well as to keep the truth in ftore, for a more fit feafon to be re-published abroad, and if thefe times bear any analogy to former days,